CAVITEX Infrastructure Corp. (CIC), a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), is eyeing to open this month the 1.6-kilometer (km) extension of the CAVITEX C5 Link in an effort to increase the volume of motorists on its road network.

The Segment 3A2 from Merville to E. Rodriguez (both in Parañaque) is expected to open by “July 16,”  MPTC Chief Finance Officer Christopher Daniel C. Lizo told reporters on Thursday.

The Segment 3A2 extends CAVITEX C5 Link’s 2.2-kilometer operational segment that spans between Merville — a village in Parañaque — and Taguig.

This means that motorists will be able to get to and from Taguig, Pasay, and Parañaque more easily. The extension is seen to help decongest the local roads.

The current operational segment serves up to “13,000 motorists daily, and we expect (the volume) to go up to 18,000,” Mr. Lizo said.

Fees to be collected will also increase. “Currently, users of the (2.2-km) section pay P22. When we open the 3A2, the stretch will run (3.8km), so from P22 to P37,” Mr. Lizo noted.

The Merville Entry/Exit ramps will be relocated to the new segment, in front of Shell C5 Southlink, according to the CIC.

At the same time, a service tunnel road will be opened to manage the traffic of motorists coming from West Service Road going to Merville, Pasay, and Parañaque.

The company is also working on the Segment 2 (CAVITEX to Sucat Interchange), which is now 30% complete.

The P15-billion CAVITEX C5 Link project, upon completion in 2023, is projected to serve 50,000 cars daily and reduce travel time to Makati and Taguig from Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Cavite from one hour to about 10 minutes.

The 7.7-kilometer project will help “decongest major thoroughfares such as EDSA, MIA Road, etc.,“ said CIC President and General Manager Raul L. Ignacio.

The company told motorists to take advantage of the Easytrip RFID and use it “for more seamless travel.”

“We continue to offer free RFID installation and reloading at our customer service stations in CAVITEX and CAVITEX C5 Link,” Mr. Ignacio said.

“They may also conveniently reload and monitor our expressways’ traffic conditions by using our latest app, MPT DriveHub. With the help of the app and by using their RFIDs, they would be able to avoid long queues at the cash lane and have a more seamless travel in our expressways,” added Mr. Ignacio.

The company expects the project to play a major role in Metro Manila’s economic development.

MPTC’s parent, the Metro Pacific Investments Corp., is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin